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What is a Medical Power of Attorney?

You may have heard the term “power of attorney” before. It is often used to refer to someone who can make financial decisions on behalf of someone else or their estate. It is also important to know about the medical power of attorney, a power that should be offered to a person you really trust. A Des Moines power of attorney lawyer can tell you about all of your options and how you can grant others these important responsibilities.

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What Can Someone Do With Medical Power of Attorney?

A medical power of attorney is sometimes referred to as a healthcare power of attorney. As its name implies, it allows someone to make medical decisions on behalf of someone else. You can only choose to give someone medical power of attorney when you are in sound mind yourself.

So if you are incapacitated in some way, the medical power of attorney allows someone to make your decisions for you. If you are in a coma or otherwise unable to communicate what your wishes are, there needs to be someone who can tell medical professionals what you want to do.

Assigning a medical power of attorney can also be wise for anyone with a form of neurodegenerative disease. If someone has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, they will eventually be unable to rationally communicate their medical needs or safely make their own medical decisions.

Can I Appoint This Power to More Than One Person?

In some cases, you can appoint more than one person as your medical power of attorney. Just know that this can come with complications. If you are incapacitated and these two people disagree about the best treatment for you, they could end up deadlocked. That can delay or even prevent you from getting the care that you need. This can happen even when you have told people about your wishes and what kind of medical care you would want.

You can also assign someone power of attorney and then assign a backup. If something changes and the person you originally picked can no longer handle these duties, your backup can step in and make your wishes known.

Can I Revoke the Power of Attorney?

You can revoke the medical power of attorney whenever you want to. You must communicate this orally or in writing, and you have to be of sound mind yourself. You can then choose another agent or you can decide that your healthcare decisions are now back in your hands.

Consult With an Estate Planning Attorney

If you have any other questions about the power of attorney or anything else related to your estate plan, we can help you. Contact Herting Law, PLLC and set up a consultation today. We would love to tell you more about what our law firm can do for you.

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